Re: [ietf-dkim] Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call

John C Klensin <> Thu, 17 May 2007 16:17 UTC

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Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 12:17:35 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Dave Crocker <>, Harald Alvestrand <>
Subject: Re: [ietf-dkim] Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call
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--On Tuesday, 15 May, 2007 11:27 -0700 Dave Crocker
<> wrote:

> Were we to deprecate every feature in IETF specifications that
> get mis-implemented a couple of times over 10 years, I suspect
> much of our technology would be deprecated...

IMO, and at the risk of again agreeing with Dave, this is the
issue for me.  

If we have inconsistent uses of terminology across documents
that are supposed to be using the same, standardized, term, then
that is a problem with our review process.  If the term is
explicitly standardized in one of the documents, that is the
definition; things that use the term incorrectly should be
candidates for fixing.

By contrast, if we consider "misused sometimes" or "ambiguous
with other uses" as a sufficient condition for deprecating the
term itself, then we have a long list of terms to deprecate in
front of us, almost certainly starting with "IP", which refers
to several different protocols, a protocol layer, and something
that often involves lawyers.

I think some warning language about safe and unsafe contexts may
be in order for this construction but I expect that everyone who
is arguing for deprecating it entirely (or inserting a strong
"don't use this" statement) will be making a case for similar
language the next time an IPv6 document comes up for review.